The San Antonio Spurs will head into the summer with the opportunity to drastically improve the roster. They can do so through the 2022 NBA Draft and in free agency. There, they could have up to $30 million in cap space to work with. But with limited free agency options, San Antonio could actually look to the trade market to make the most of their cap space.
Without a big-name free agent to pursue, they should instead look to take back a bad salary in exchange for more assets. I know, I know. How many assets do the Spurs possibly need? The answer is more -- especially future assets for when the team is ready to compete.
One team, in particular, has a need to unload a massive contract and appears willing to trade future assets: the Los Angeles Lakers. While a trade between the two former rivals may seem unlikely, it's certainly possible and could even potentially be beneficial for both teams. With that being said, let’s take a look at how the Spurs could pull off a win-win trade with the Lakers this summer.
Why the Lakers need to offload Russell Westbrook
Despite having LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers find themselves well below .500 with the season winding down. Westbrook, as it turns out, has been a large part of the problem, so much so that Los Angeles reportedly tried to offload him near the trade deadline but found no takers.
The biggest problem is that Westbrook is owed a jaw-dropping $47 million next season. Shockingly, teams weren’t lining up around the block to take him -- especially with the Lakers only having one 1st round pick to offer up because of the Stepien Rule. That’ll change in the offseason when they’ll be eligible to trade their 2029 1st round pick in addition to their 2027 pick.
Meanwhile, the Spurs have two veterans who would be highly sought after by contenders (or would-be contenders like the Lakers), if made available. It makes sense for San Antonio to at least shop some of their more expendable players around. You know where I'm going with this.